Guidance for separated families, looked after children, social, medical or special educational needs, Armed Forces families, and more.

There are various specific factors which can affect your child's application to start school or your choice of school. Some of the main situations that may apply to you are listed here. Please make sure you have read the guidance on filling in your form, and that you read the admissions policies.

Separated parents

If the child's parents are separated or divorced, there are various things you need to consider depending on your situation.

If the residency of your child is split between both parents, we consider the home address to be the address where the child lives for the majority of the school week (Monday to Friday). Parents will be required to complete and return a split residency form detailing the split. Please contact us to request the form.

If the child spends equal amounts of time at both addresses, you will be asked to nominate which address you wish to use for the purpose of allocating a school place. If you fail to do so, we have the right to nominate the address that we consider appropriate, which will normally be that at which child benefit is received. If you do not receive child benefit we will use the address being used for GP registration purposes.

Home to school Transport will be assessed from the address used to allocate a school place. If both addresses qualify for home to school transport the transport is not free from the second address and full cost recovery is required. View the home to school transport policy.

Please read the information about what address to use here, including the section about making a fraudulent application, before you apply. We may ask for evidence of your child's place of permanent residence.

By submitting an application for a school place, you are stating that you have parental responsibility for the child named on the form, or if you share parental responsibility, that you are in agreement regarding the preferences stated on the application for a school place. In accordance with the school admission code (2014), we may only offer one school place per child.

In the case of disputes between parents, there is an expectation that parents will resolve these themselves and make a single application which both parents are in agreement with. We can not accept more than one application per child. If we receive conflicting instructions for a child, we will not be able to process the application or allocate a place for your child.

We will require evidence of either parental agreement, in the form of written confirmation from each parent, or a court order. If an agreement has not been reached before the normal admissions round has closed, all preferences will be suspended and we will seek to offer a place at the nearest school, with places available, to the child’s principal permanent residence.

You must provide your child's legal surname.

We can only accept a different name if you provide written evidence that everyone with parental responsibility for the child has agreed to the change of name. 

A deed poll or statutory declaration is not sufficient to allow the admissions, transport and welfare team or a school to change a child's surname, unless accompanied by written confirmation signed by all parties with parental responsibility agreeing to the change. 

If either parent does not agree, or cannot be contacted, the name can only be changed legally by a court order. 

It is the responsibility of the parent who wishes to change the surname to obtain the consent of the other person with parental responsibility.

Exceptional social and medical reasons

If you feel that your highest preference school is the only school which can meet your child's needs, and that your child would encounter difficulties if your child had to attend another school, you can complete the relevant section of the common application form to request that the application be considered under exceptional social and medical criteria.

You will need to provide current supporting evidence of the above from an appropriately qualified professional.

It is your responsibility to make sure you have sent in all the required evidence along with your application. We can only consider your application based on the evidence you have submitted and will not chase you for additional information.

Community or voluntary controlled schools do apply the priority group, however it is important to note the social medical priority group is non-statutory. For schools which are their own admission authorities, it is the parents' responsibility to check whether the schools' oversubscription policy includes a social medical category and what sort of documentary evidence is required.

You can find out more about the different types of school here

Find full admissions policies and oversubscription criteria here.

Social reasons do not include domestic circumstances such as parental work commitments, childcare arrangements or separation from your child's friends.

Medical evidence must be current and demonstrate the exceptional nature of your child's condition(s). A confirmation of diagnosis is insufficient on its own as all mainstream schools are able to cope with a wide range of medical needs encountered by children. 

You may also wish to consult the information about SEND schooling.

You will need to apply via your home local authority as explained here. However, your exceptional social and medical evidence will need to be supplied to North Yorkshire. Please contact the admissions team.

Failure to provide this independent professional evidence by the closing date will mean your application will not be considered under criterion 2 (social medical reasons).  Instead the normal oversubscription criteria relating to catchment area will apply. You will have the right to an admission appeal at a later date if you do not obtain a place at your preferred school. 

The closing dates for providing evidence of exceptional social or medical reasons are the same as the normal applications closing dates.

Please check this year's precise dates here.

Please contact the admissions, transport and welfare team if you have difficulty meeting the deadlines.

In respect of applications for places at community and voluntary controlled schools, the evidence you provide is reviewed and considered by a panel of qualified professionals. We also do this on behalf of academy schools that use our admissions criteria.

Following these meetings a letter will be sent to you confirming whether or not your child's school place will be allocated under criterion 2 (social medical). 

Special educational needs (SEND)

If your child has an education, health and care plan (previously known as a a statement of special educational needs), the professionals involved in writing it will help you decide on the most appropriate type of school for your child.

The majority of children with SEND can have their needs met in a mainstream school but a proportion may need to access specialist provision. You can visit our pages about choosing a school here.

By ringing the SEN Admin team on 01609 535002 or this will help us to identify an appropriate school place and make the transition as smooth as possible, although the formal consultation with school cannot begin until you advise us of the address you are moving to.

It also may be useful to contact the SEND information, advice and support service (SENDIASS) if you know you are moving into North Yorkshire. They provide free and impartial information, advice and support for children, young people and young adults (up to 25 year old) with SEND as well as their parents or carers.

Most children’s needs can be met in a mainstream school or enhanced mainstream provision. This means that children can go to school with their friends from their community.

If they attend a special school (for children with an EHCP only) then it may not be in their local area and they will inevitably have a different friendship group, and may not be mixing with other children in the locality.

You will also need to think about how they will travel to school and whether you are eligible for transport assistance.

You can find out about the different types of schools in North Yorkshire here.


Applications for children with special educational needs must be considered on the basis of the school's published admission criteria. They may not be refused because the school is unable to cater for their needs. Where a child has an education, health and care plan, in which a mainstream school is named, the governing body must admit the pupil.  

The authority's expectation is the majority of children with special educational needs, including those with an education, health and care plan (EHCP, previously known as a statement of special educational needs), will have their needs met in a mainstream setting.

It may be recommended or you may want your child to go to a special school. Places at special schools are given to children with complex needs and have an education, health and care plan.

You can ask your SENCO or SENDIASS coordinator how to apply for a place at a special school. There is a consultation process to go through. The authority has eight weeks to consider your request, during which time we will contact the school you are requesting to ascertain whether you child's needs can be met. You can not apply for a special school using the general admissions form.

However, you should also apply for a place at the mainstream school you would prefer, and explain on the form that your child is being considered for a place at a special school.

If your child has an education, health and care plan, the annual review meeting in Year 5 is a good time to talk about plans for moving to secondary school and to discuss transport arrangements.

In October of Year 6, you will need to decide which secondary or special school you would prefer your child to go to.

Your assessment and review officer should then send you an amended education, health and care plan by 15 February to name their year seven placement. 

You can read more advice about transferring to secondary school with SEND here.

Armed Forces families

We will accept the barrack's address prior to the family moving in, as long as the application is accompanied by an official Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office or Government Communication Headquarters letter declaring a relocation date. 

You should also consult the general advice about residence and which address to use here.

It is our policy that infant classes (key stage 1) should be restricted to no more than 30 children with a single school teacher in accordance with the school admissions code 2014. Additional children may be admitted under limited exceptional circumstances. These are referred to as 'excepted pupils'. A child of an Armed Forces family may, however, be able to be accepted into reception as an excepted pupil. These children will remain as excepted pupils while they remain in an infant class, or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit. 

Advice is available by contacting the Children's Education Advisory Service helpline on 01980 618244, visiting the Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) on GOV.UK or emailing

The Army Families Federation (AFF) works to improve the lives of the serving and resettling British Armed Forces community across the world. Offering support, information and guidance to individuals and Army communities on issues that impact on the quality of their lives.

Our schools recognise that service pupils face unique challenges posed by frequent moves, changes in home, school and friends, long periods of separation from loved ones and that because of this at times some pupils require additional support. Our Service Pupils' Champions work in schools across the county to support children and families and offer a neutral listening ear, signposting and raise awareness of the needs of service pupils.

Other circumstances

Some of the headings on this page may describe your situation. Please make sure you read all the information carefully as well as the admissions policies.

If your situation relates to moving house, please see our information about what address to use.

For education purposes, (section 576 of the Education Act 1966) any adult who has parental responsibility or day to day legal responsibility of a child may complete the common application form (CAF). A person has care of a child if they are the person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child. 

We will only discuss the content or progress of any application with the applicant themselves unless we have formal permission to contact another nominated person (such as a social worker, translator or other family member).

An application for a Looked After child should be completed by the person or Local Authority with responsibility for the child. Evidence that the child is in care must be sent with the application form.

If your child was previously looked after, and you wish your application to be considered under category 1 of the local authority admissions policy, you will need to provide evidence. If your child was adopted, this will be a copy of the Adoption Order, in particular page 2 of the order which names the Local Authority your child was in the care of immediately prior to adoption.

If your child became subject to a Child Arrangements Order (This does not apply if a Child Arrangements Order is in place due to a custody disagreement between two separating parents) or Special Guardianship Order, you will need to provide copies of these and a confirmation letter from the Local Authority that last looked after your child.

If you are unsure if your child can be considered under this category please contact the school admissions team for further guidance.

If you are applying for a community or voluntary controlled school, you must complete the relevant section of the common application form and provide supporting evidence from an appropriately qualified professional.

If your child has been permanently excluded from two or more schools, you may still express a preference for a school place, but the requirement to comply with that preference is removed for a period of two years from the date on which the last exclusion took place. 

This does not apply to:

  • children with a final statement of special educational needs or education and health care plan;
  • children who were below compulsory school age when they were excluded;
  • children who have been reinstated following a permanent exclusion; or
  • children who would have been reinstated following a permanent exclusion had it been practicable to do so.

If you have multiple birth children, for example twins or triplets, we will try, wherever possible, to offer all the children a place at the same school. 

It is our policy that infant classes (key stage 1) should be restricted to no more than 30 children with a single school teacher in accordance with the school admissions code 2014. Additional children may be admitted under limited exceptional circumstances. These are referred to as 'excepted pupils'. For example, a child whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth has been admitted in the normal way, may be able to be accepted as an excepted pupil. These children will remain as excepted pupils while they remain in an infant class, or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit.